Brighton’s Forge Comedy Club Crowned Best Comedy Venue at the 2024 Chortle Awards

Forge Comedy Club are delighted to announce that we have been awarded the title of “Best Comedy Venue” in the South and East at this year’s comedy industry “Oscars”; The Chortle Awards.

Since opening our doors in 2022 the Forge has constantly punched above its weight, in the tightly packed field of comedy clubs in Brighton, hosting regular weekend comedy shows with stellar line ups, plus solo shows from such top level acts as Romesh Ranganathan, Rob Beckett, Sara Pascoe, Alan Carr, Suzi Ruffell and Russell Howard. This award, voted for by members of the industry and the general public saw us fight off fierce competition from other clubs and has further cemented the Forge’s reputation in its short life as one of the top destinations in the UK comedy industry.

Founder Stephen Grant stated:

“I’m absolutely stoked to be honoured by fellow professional comics and comedy fans. Chortle has had the most established and respected marker of comedy club performance for the last two decades and we couldn’t have asked for more. I can only thank the team; Lucy, Dave, James, Lindsey, Matt, Johnny, and many others who have all worked incredibly hard to make the club what it is. I must also thank Paul, Paul, Chris, Sarah and the rest of the Ironworks team who have supported us since the beginning. Most of all, thanks go the fantastic acts that have come and played our two stages, creating some genuinely unforgettable shows. But we’d be nothing without the incredible audiences who have taken us to heart, and not only come back time after time, but spread the word to make the club the success it is today”

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First published March 2024

The Forge Comedy Club wins the BEST PRO COMEDY NIGHT (South) 2023

Stephen Grant on stage at The Forge

The Forge Comedy Club wins top prize in Industry Awards!

A Brighton comedy club has won the prestigious Best Pro Comedy Club Award for the South of England at the comedy industry’s version of the Oscars, the Chortle Awards. What makes it even more amazing is that The Forge Comedy Club has only just celebrated it’s first birthday!

The brainchild of local comedy legend, Stephen Grant, and his promotion company, Funny That, Forge Comedy Club is based at Ironworks Studios, near Brighton train station. Using the superb, state of the art performance space they have created a comedy club that is truly next generation.

The acts certainly agree, and Forge regularly attracts top names, such as Romesh Ranganathan, John Bishop, Tom Davis, Sara Pascoe, Russell Kane, Zoe Lyons and Joel Dommett.

John Bishop at Funny That’s Forge Comedy Club

The venue has also made a splash with customers, surging to be the most highly rated comedy club in Brighton on Trip Advisor, and with a host of gushing reviews across social media.

In fact, at the moment, getting a ticket can be the biggest challenge with every show since September being a complete sell out, as people rush to check out the hottest comedy show in town. Two new material nights, featuring Russell Howard, went on sale last week and both sold out in a matter of minutes.

“We hate it when people are disappointed, but I guess it’s a good problem to have” said a representative for the company “We recommend everyone join our mailing list and follow our socials to be first to hear of special guests popping in and new tour announcements.”

This is the second award that Grant and co have picked up in recent months, with Funny That also being named Best Independent Promoter 2022 at the industry voted Comic’s Comic Awards.

If you want to see what all the fuss is about you can see footage of what goes on at Funny That’s youtube channel, and across their various social media outlets.

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Stephen Grant wins Comedy Promoter of the Year 2022

Stephen Grant of Funny That Ltd

Local Comedian and Promoter Stephen Grant receives prestigious award

Local comedian and comedy promoter Stephen Grant has won the highly prestigious Independent Comedy Promoter of the Year award for 2022 at this year’s Comic’s Comic awards.

The award which is voted for exclusively by the comedy industry is a huge recognition of the achievements which Stephen and his company “Funny That Comedy” have made this year.

Stephen Grant at The Forge Comedy Club, Brighton

Having previously ran the hugely popular multi-award winning Krater Comedy Club at Komedia Brighton for 23 years, he was a key promoter of Covid safe comedy throughout the pandemic when all the main venues reamined shut down, and when Komedia surprisingly changed direction at the end of 2021, Stephen and his team formed a partnership with the Pride organization to start the Forge Comedy Club at Ironworks Studios, bringing the very best names in stand up to Brighton.

In just 12 months names such as Romesh Ranganathan, John Bishop, Russell Kane, Sara Pascoe and Joel Dommett have come to the Forge and other Funny That venues across Sussex, alongside rising stars who Stephen continues to nurture due to his long term commitment to stand up comedy, with touring shows across 2023 from emerging names such as Suzi Ruffell, Charlie Baker, Paul Smith, Dan Nightingale, and Vittorio Angelone.

John Bishop at Funny That’s Forge Comedy Club

Additionally, 2023 sees Stephen bring Funny That Comedy to shows throughout Sussex, with regular gigs in Haywards Heath, Lindfield, Hassocks, Alfriston, and Peacehaven and their new venue in Kingston on the outskirts of Lewes, which launches in March.

Stephen Grant at Funny That Comedy, Hassocks

The award recognises that the team is made up of event professionals entirely drawn from the comedy world, to provide a passion and focus unmatched in the South, and special attention was made to the Summer comedy festival Funny That curates at Brighton Open Air Theatre, which is a regular sell out and a much vaunted highlight of the comedy calender.

Business Manager Dave Fensome from Funny That, a key part of this success, said “Financially times have never been tougher, people need a laugh more than ever. Not everyone wants to add the expense of a trip into a metropolitan centre to their night out. So using our expertise and bringing absolutely cracking line up’s to unexpected places is a real passion”,

When asked about what winning the award means Stephen had the following to say “Absolutely made up to have won this award and honoured to be recognised like this – breathtaking when you consider how good everyone else is out there. No exaggeration to say the only reason I could do this was the people I work with – especially Lucy MacDonald, who is thoroughly deserving of this award also, and critically the incredible support of the industry itself, who have made The Forge something really quite spectacular indeed.”

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Beyond the Joke